Every parent wants his child to be grateful for what he has. So here are some simple ways to teach your small child to learn a sense of gratitude.
The Art of Appreciation
Gratitude is a tricky concept to teach to your toddler or preschooler who tends to be naturally self-centered. However, it is necessary. By learning gratitude, your child becomes sensitive to what other people feel letting him develop life skills like empathy along the way. Grateful children tend to look outside their own world and understand their parents and others do things for them.
Hilltop Children’s Center, your partner in terms of child care near Liberty Hill, TX, believes that instilling grateful feelings today will give your child more benefits later in his life. Studies have shown that grateful people reported higher levels of optimism and happiness, together with lower levels of stress and depression.
Teaching Gratitude in the Early Years
Children as young as 15-18 months can start to grasp concepts which result in gratitude. They begin to understand they are dependent that his parents do things for him. By age two or three, a child can talk about being thankful for some pets, objects and people. By age four, he can understand being thankful not just for material things such as toys but also for acts of love, care and kindness.
As your child tends to model you, ensure you use “thank you” and “please” if you talk to him. Insist on him using these words too. Here are some ways to teach gratitude to your child.
- Work it into your conversation every day
. Frequently reinforcing an idea can make that idea stick to your child’s mind. To turn up the gratitude at home, select a “thanking” part of the day.
- Let him help
. Many times, you let your child perform a chore; however, it is quite agonizing to see him taking forever to complete that task or make a big mess in the kitchen. You will often want to step in and do the chore yourself. However, doing so pushes your child not to appreciate your effort. By taking part in simple chores such as stacking dirty dishes on the counter or feeding the dog, your child will realize that all those things take effort.
- Encourage generosity
. If your child sees you giving to others, this inspires him to go through his own closets and also offer something to people in need.
- Be patient
. Gratitude cannot be developed overnight. It requires enough periods of reinforcement. However, you will reap the reward.
- Consider a goodwill project
. This does not mean that you have to drag your child off to a soup kitchen weekly. Rather, figure out ways he can take part in helping somebody else, even if it is making treats for a sick neighbor. While you are making it, talk about how you are making the treat special for that neighbor and how happy that neighbor will be.
- Practice saying no
. Children are expected to ask candy, video games and toys sometimes every year. It is hard or not possible to feel grateful if you get what you want. Saying no makes your child realize that he is not entitled to have everything.
Ways to Survive the Holiday Gift Glut
- Take the big day slowly.
Rather than a big gift-grabbing frenzy, let the members of your family open their gifts one at a time. Consider making a ritual with all eyes on that love done opening a gift. This establishes some moments for appreciation.
- Limit extracurricular giving.
You can consider setting a no-gifts policy with your child’s preschooler friends, Sunday school or play date.
- Downplay the gifts.
Stress more on celebrating focusing on making cookies, lighting the menorah, decorating the tree, visiting relatives or attending church.
- Take them shopping.
Take other members of the family to shopping. But you can also encourage them to make homemade gifts like a simple drawing. Kids get pleasure out of gift-giving and seeing you are thankful for their presents.